"John was born in 1796. He was one of the most conspicuous men in the early history of Knox County. He was evidently regarded as one of the most capable of pioneers as we find him prominently identified with every more toward the organization of the county, as well as the various departments of the county's government. It was at his residence that the first county commissioner's court was held July 3, 1830. He was elected Clerk, but at the next meeting he resigned. The first term of the circuit court was held at his cabin, Oct 1, 1830. This cabin, which was known as the "Temporary seat of justice of Knox Co." stood on Section 32, Henderson Township. It was a one story, double log cabin. Each division contained one room. This was also the first tavern for this section of the country. Mr. Gum also served as the first treasurer of Knox County. His first report shows he handled for the year $342.32. of this $320, was received from the State Treasurer, $10.21 from taxes, and $2.00 for license. Mr Gum was a fine type of the early pioneer, possessing a well developed muscular form. He possessed many Christian virtues,and was highly esteemed and respected by everyone of the sturdy Pilgrims who came to the beautiful groves of Knox County before they were married by the hand of man."
Leaves from the Gum Tree, a history of the Gum family in America, beginning with Roger Gum in Delaware, by Muriel Martens Hoffman. Published by Muriel Martens Hoffman, Fairbury, Illinois, June 1984, printed by Cornbelt Press, Fairbury, Illinois 61799.
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